I want to run away :(

I want to run away :(

Hey peeps, and welcome to another Project Unicorn blog.

Yeah. I want to run away. I’m feeling really stressed and overwhelmed by my life right. I’m having some problems at work because my boss is a bully, whether intentional or not, and it’s having some extremely negative effects on my life.

I want my blogs to be about happiness and positivity, but I feel like such a liar right now because I have such a strong voice in my head screaming at me that I’m the problem with my life and that everything and everyone would be better if I just wasn’t here.

I’m not about to hurt myself, don’t worry. It’s more that I want to be someone else. I don’t want to be me anymore. Being Me seems to be the problem.

I can’t seem to make any decisions right now. My brain is whirring at a thousand miles an hour and spinning around a thousand possibilities like a hamster in a wheel. Could I do this, could I do this, is this how it’ll fix it? Where’s the magic button? Where’s the off switch? How can I make it all go away?

I’m exhausted. I can’t stop yawning. All I want to do is sleep but when I do sleep I have horrible nightmares about being chased by walkers (as per The Walking Dead) or of drowning.

I’m having loads of migraines, or just one constant migraine that doesn’t shift. It feels like my left eye socket is made of sandpaper and my eye is grinding against it every time I blink or look around, and my jaw is wired shut. There’s a hot needle in my ear and the tide keeps going out in my head. That and the fact that I feel really sick, like I’ve just stepped off a rollercoaster and I’m seeing black spots everywhere, sort of like dozens of little spiders just crawling over everything or floating in the air…

I need a break. But I can’t have any more sickness because I’ll lose my job. I’m already on an attendance plan because of the migraines. I’ve been given a good tolerance and they’re allowing me to have up to 1 day off a week (on average) but if I’m off for more than that, I’ll fail the plan and then I won’t have a job to worry about, which is even more stressful because I have a mortgage and bills to pay.

So, yeah, I just want to run away. But I can’t. I just want to not be me because someone else must be better at dealing with this… right?

I used to be happy. I used to be confident. I’ve lost it all. Who was that person? Who was she? Who was I? How did I do that? It doesn’t feel real anymore. It doesn’t feel possible.

RIGHT.

  1. What can I smell? I smell… lemon cleaner, aircon air, my perfume… carpets…
  2. What can I taste? I taste… Coca-Cola, chocolate, caramel…
  3. What can I see? I see my work laptop computer, I see this word document, I see a smiley face sticker on my keyboard, I see the Marvin the Unicorn plush keyring that my amazing wife made me, I see a post-it saying ‘Just be Yourself’ and a little cartoon picture of my two wonderful dogs, Lilly and Doug.
  4. What can I feel? I can feel my mouth stretching into a smile again, a really big wide smile that crinkles my eyes and fills me with hope. I can do this.
  5. What can I hear? I hear uplifting music on YouTube through the blue earphones I’m listening with. I can hear my keys clacking, a really satisfying sound because it means I’m writing and writing is my life.

I’m going to be just fine. I’m okay. Just as I am. I’m back, I’m good… I’m breathing.

I can survive this.

I can do anything.

UNICORN POWER!!!

Unicorn kawaii

Image courtesy of:
http://evaons.deviantart.com/art/Unicorn-Kawaii-635054675

Sunny Sunday: The Dandelion of Self-Doubt

Sunny Sunday: The Dandelion of Self-Doubt

Hey peeps, and welcome to another Project Unicorn blog!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Dandy Lion, the self-doubting weed.

Dandy Lion the Weed

Now, this is NOT my artwork, but this is very much how I imagine Dandy Lion, the self-doubting weed.

Basically, Claire and I (with the help of our amazing strong friend) cleared our back garden of all the massively overgrown weeds a few weeks ago, but in the nice weather I’ve noticed that they’re starting to grow back. So out I popped this morning to pull up some of the nettles and dandelions before they could take over and create a Backyard Jungle once again.

And it reminded me of my mental health.

Confidence and positive thinking don’t come naturally to me. My depression and anxiety are daily struggles. BUT if I can keep working on the weeds of self-doubt then, over time, Dandy Lion will become a positive-thinking flower, instead of a self-doubting weed.

So, how do I do this? With extreme effort and patience. And a lot of Google searching. I mean a LOT of Google searching.

There is tonnes of advice out there, and some of it might work for you, some of it won’t. Here’s something what works for me:

I pick a feature, just one, about myself that I like, and I compliment myself in the mirror EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Sometimes, I have to pretend that the reflection is a different person, and I ask myself, how would I speak to her? I’d never say a horrible, bullying thing to someone else, but my self-doubt weeds make me do that to myself.

Honestly, try it.

For me, I choose my big blue eyes. I think they’re really pretty.

Now, the self-doubting weed immediately pops up and, like a stinging nettle, jabs at me and says, “That’s so vain, who are you to like your own eyes? You can’t call yourself pretty; that’s arrogant and then no-one will love you.”

To which I reply, “It’s okay to like just one feature. I’m going to keep saying it for a while and see how things go.”

And the weed of self-doubt subsides into sulky silence and lets me get on with my day.

It still jabs at me (especially when I first started, it was so difficult to ignore the stings!), but perseverance is key and, sort of like non-harmful re-planting, the weed of self-doubt is slowly moved into a pretty terracotta pot and becomes a flower of confidence instead.

Because weeds are really just flowers in the wrong place.

There’s a time and a place for self-doubt – it can help us become better, stronger and kinder people – but too much self-doubt, like too many weeds, or self-doubt in the wrong place of your mind, like weeds in the wrong part of the garden, can make it really difficult to see all the beauty that your mind has to offer.

Could this work for you? Why not try it for 28 days and see? Apparently, that’s about how long it takes to change or create a new habit (or how long it takes to re-plant a weed into a pretty new pot).

Stay amazing, my fellow unicorns!

Chibird dandelion

Dandelion & Lion image courtesy of:
http://www.deviantart.com/users/outgoing?https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nabhan-Abdullatif/218421908222045
Check out more illustrations at:
https://www.facebook.com/nabhan.illustrations/
Make a wish dandelion image courtesy of:
http://chibird.com/
Check out more chibird illustrations at:
https://www.facebook.com/ChibirdArt/

 

Storytime Saturday: How I proposed to my wife

Hey peeps, and welcome to another Project Unicorn blog!

Today, I want to share with you the story of how I proposed to my wife. It was such a typical example of our relationship and it formed part of my wedding speech.

It’s our 3 year wedding anniversary in July and I’m looking back through our wedding photos in preparation.

So…

I proposed in 2009. Claire had moved in with me at my parents’ house cos she was still in uni but needed a break from home, and we were definitely back together  (after the on-off-on-again 2006-2008 phase).

I knew I wanted to marry her, or at least get a civil partnership, which was our only option at the time, but proposing is really SCARY so I sort of wanted to test the waters first and get a sense of how receptive she was to the idea.

Subtle I am not.

So there we are, sat on the end of our bed, talking about rental flats versus waiting and saving to buy a house, and I say, super casually (of course):

“I guess, before we get a mortgage, we should probably get married…?”

And she just looked at me for a long minute and said, rather incredulously,

“Did you just propose?!”

Now, this was a scary position to be in because if I said no, she might be too upset for me to try again, meaning I’d blown my chance forever, but if I said yes then it was the crappiest proposal in the history of the world ever.

So… I hedged my bets and said…

“Maybe.”

It’s gets better…

“But not really… but if I was… what would you say? Cos I really want to surprise you by proposing on valentine’s day only… oh crap, well, surprise!”

Yeah…

Of course, after we laughed about me being a dummy and the worst person at keeping secrets, Claire said yes and burst into tears of joy.

And then I said,

“But I’ve not really proposed, because you propose with a ring, this is just the pre-proposal, so you have to wait till valentine’s day.”

2 weeks later and we’re walking into H Samuel the jewellers for engagement rings.

But I kept the box and on valentine’s day I put a Haribo gummy ring inside, got down on one knee and proposed properly.

Enter more tears and hugging.

… we still ended up getting a mortgage before we got married though…

Wedding photo.JPG